Tuesday, April 22, 2008

557. Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love (1985)

Track Listing

1. Running up that hill
2. Hounds of love
3. Big sky
4. Mother stands for comfort
5. Cloudbusting
6. And dream of sheep
7. Under ice
8. Waking the witch
9. Watching you without me
10. Jig of life
11. Hello Earth
12. Morning fog


For the mid-80s, which represent an age of pretty crap music we are going through a pretty great patch of music, and this is no exception. Of course in all times there was the mainstream, the completely outside the mainstream and that which intersects the two. This album is very much in the latter category.

This is a much more single-friendly album than The Dreaming, it does however slightly compromise the craziness of that album by attempting to be more commercial while not taking away all that is great about Kate Bush.

It does that pretty successfully, and manages it particularly by separating the album into two suites, a natural breakup in the days of vinyl which might sound slightly disjointed now with CDs. But it works, the first half is newcomer friendly, radio-friendly and single-friendly while managing to keep the madness, the second half is following up on the freedom of The Dreaming, and is for the deep lover of Bush, of course that first half will make you love her deeply enough to listen to the second one and look at her depth. I would say this is the perfect showcase album for the abilities of Kate Bush and the perfect album for someone who is just getting to know her, and a treat for those who know her well.

Track Highlights

1. Cloudbusting
2. The Jig Of Life
3. Running Up That Hill
4. Waking The Witch

Final Grade



The album is split into two sides, with the first side, "Hounds of Love", containing five "accessible" pop songs, including the four singles: "Running Up That Hill," "Cloudbusting," "Hounds of Love," and "The Big Sky." "Running Up That Hill" re-introduced Kate to American listeners, and received considerable airplay at the time of its release. "The Big Sky" can be viewed as a creative manifesto issued by Bush in response to criticisms of The Dreaming (for which she had been criticized for being too obscure). The second side is entitled "The Ninth Wave", whose title is taken from a poem by Tennyson. As part of a song cycle, each track helps to convey the story of a woman who is lost at sea, facing death by drowning, and the tortured night she spends in the water. Bush's technical mastery is shown to full effect, using samples and vocals played in reverse to synthesized sounds and folk instrumentation.

Cloudbusting, based on Wilhelm Reich's ideas... crazy:

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